SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
February 21, 2015
Watch Games 2015: A Salty Showdown
37° 06’ 52.8” S x 179° 13’ 16.8” E
It is every sailor's dream to be the winner of a line-identifying competition, in which we demonstrate that we have "learned the ropes." This phrase was coined by the sailors of old to describe the need to learn the name and function of every line on the ship. However, it should be noted that we have no ropes on the ship, because once ropes have a purpose they are referred to as "lines." In this sacred game, the ceremonies begin with the students separating into their designated watch groups-A, B, and C.
Each watch group stands in a row and is monitored by unaffiliated watch officers who hand one card to the first person in the queue. This card contains the name of one line on the ship. The object of the game is to WALK not RUN to the line listed, and return to your respective row to earn one point for your group. Today, we were all gathered together under the false pretenses of class. However, it soon evolved into a competition of gale-force proportions with frightening similarities to gladiatorial combat.
Parents and loved ones, do not fear, there were no casualties to be reported. While there were no physical injuries, there were minor blows to self-pride-vocalized by B Watch. They now owe a small sum in penalty fees for reasons that we are unable to disclose. These same offenders were also the "winners" of the competition; however, a general consensus reveals A Watch (in second place) to be the true winners, as they maintained their moral integrity. C Watch proved to be honorable and valiant competitors. In this educational experience, disguised as an exciting activity, students were tested on their knowledge of the lines that are required for smooth sailing across New Zealand waters.
While we joked about competition, this game was filled with camaraderie and friendship. Our ability to laugh, learn, and spend every minute together never ceases to astound us. With no land visible on the horizon it is nice to have the unwavering support of our shipmates, or as Matt Silvia so eloquently described, "our floating Marae."
Elizabeth & Maravilla